Be cautious! The tea you consume from a few shops here may increase the risk of cancer in you as fabric dye is mixed with tea powder to give colour.

This was found when the health officials inspected tea shops and recovered the adulterated tea powder. “As per the Food Safety and Standards (Contaminants, Toxins and Residues) Regulations, 2011, the colour in parts per million (PPM) should be 10 ppm in dry tea dusts, but the adulterated pack contains 1,950 ppm which is very dangerous to health,” T. Anuradha, District Designated Officer, Tamil Nadu Food Safety and Drug Administration Department, told The Hindu.

She added that just to give colour to the tea content these were widely mixed with tea powder and served to customers. “Consumers are used to ginger tea and lemon tea. Now in order to attract customers, they add the chemical substance to the tea and provide colour tea,” Ms. Anuradha added.

The officials said that after inspections were carried out in shops and adulterated tea dust were found, the traders started to adopt this new strategy.

The officials said that consumers could differentiate between good tea and the adulterated one. They said that normal tea dust changed its colour only in hot water while the fabric dye-mixed tea dust changes colour in cold water.